BEP 242 – Strategic Negotiations 2: Establishing a Position

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on strategic negotiations in English and establishing a position.

If you’ve ever had to negotiate anything, whether it’s a salary, a corporate buyout, or a partnership, you’re sure to understand the importance of preparation. You can’t head into the room without first figuring out what you want and what you’re willing to give up. And if you’re doing the negotiation with a team, it’s even more important. Everyone needs to know the plan and the strategy beforehand. Otherwise you’ll be looking at each other and wondering “well, what should we do now?”

Before a strategic negotiation, your team needs to establish its position. But what does that involve? How do we do that? In today’s lesson, we’ll look at some useful techniques for this situation. We’ll cover summarizing key benefits, anticipating obstacles, and suggesting ways around obstacles. We’ll also learn how to decide on an initial position and propose a negotiating strategy.

In our last lesson, we heard Mike, the VP of Asian sales for an American autoparts company called Sigma. He pitched the idea for a partnership to a former colleague who now works for a Japanese company called NVP.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Mike meeting with Grant, Sigma’s Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Sales, and Tess, who looks after the business development and legal departments. Together, they’re trying to work out an initial position before heading into the negotiation with NVP.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Mike mention NVP’s huge volume, huge network, and strong foothold in SE Asia?
2. What does Mike suggest as a way around the China problem?
3. Which idea does the team agree to save for later in the negotiation?

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